BitTorrent Inc., the San Francisco-based media distribution and technology company that would really like to stop seeing words like “piracy” show up in the opening sentences of articles about it, has made a lot of inroads toward that goal of late. Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke released a solo album—at least somewhat successfully—through the company last year, and David Cross utilized its services to distribute his directorial debut Hits. The company made further headlines when it offered to use its infrastructure to distribute The Interview for Sony Pictures, back in those heady days when it seemed remotely possible that a dumb James Franco comedy might incite World War Three. But now, the company has a new deal in place that targets one of the demographics most likely to actually know what phrases like “seeder,” “mainline DHT,” and “virtual torrents” actually mean: Nerds. Doctor Who fans, specifically.
The company announced today that it’s partnering with BBC Worldwide to release a digital box set commemorating the tenth anniversary of the revived Doctor Who series through its BitTorrent Bundle program. For $12, viewers get 10 episodes of the series, including the premiere, “Rose,” and fan favorites like “Blink” and “The Girl In The Fireplace.” They also get introduction videos for half of the episodes from current series star Peter Capaldi, explaining the historical significance of the entries and why they were curated and chosen by the Doctor Who team. Each introduction is about 90 seconds in length, and is intended as an exclusive feature of the bundle—until someone uploads them to The Pirate Bay, anyway.
But BitTorrent is unwilling to merely appeal to the nerds of the past. (If they were, there would probably be a few episodes of pre-2005 Doctor Who in the bundle, too.) The company is also continuing production on Children Of The Machine, its first experiment in original online content. Developed by Rapid Eye Studios, the series is a look at the perils and allure of technology, and is definitely not an allegory for inventing, say, a massively successful file transfer protocol and then watching millions of people use it to pass around episodes of Naruto without ever paying you a dime.